SOUTH LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The LAPD is under fire after officers reportedly shot a suspect who was lying on the ground handcuffed.
Kennedy Garcia, 23, was shot by two officers after fleeing from an alleged graffiti incident.
On Oct. 13, Garcia was with other men when they were first stopped by police, the LAPD reported. Garcia fled and officers went looking for him. They were told he was armed and noncompliant. They eventually spotted Garcia hiding under an SUV on S. Westlawn Avenue and shot him twice in the lower back.
“The officers who were involved in the shooting had no idea he was handcuffed. What they saw was a man who they had reports had a gun, refusing to comply with directions, they saw the flash of steel, late night and they reacted to it,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said.
An LAPD press release failed to mention Garcia was handcuffed when he was shot. CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Amy Johnson asked Beck why it appears the agency held out some of the details.
“Every time that we have a shooting we have to make decisions about what information is going to go out. And the detectives want no information to go out because they have a case to solve, they have witnesses to interview, and they want to keep those interviews pure. They don’t want witnesses to hear what’s in the paper or in the media,” Beck said.
Civil rights attorney Connie Rice said the investigation will have to be thorough.
“There’s going to have to be a real tough investigation,” Rice said. “I think it’s a little early to get worried right now. Let’s let the facts get out. Now I know people are a little bit disturbed that there were some details left out…”
The police chief said all the information will eventually be made public.
“It’s not an attempt to hide anything. All of our shootings, every one of them, when the investigations are completed, they’re published, they’re on our website, the inspector general’s page. You can go read all of them, every detail,” Beck said.
Garcia remained in police custody Thursday.